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Rajnath Singh hints at reducing security forces in north-east

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Guwahati: Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Saturday expressed concern over the large-scale deployment of security forces in the northeast and asked the chief ministers to conduct a “reality audit” for deployment in their states.

Rajnath Singh, who reached Assam on Friday evening, chaired a meeting of the chief ministers of the northeastern states on security and development on Saturday.

The home minister assured deployment of central forces when actually needed, saying reduction in deployment in the region without compromising on security was needed to encourage outsiders to think positively about the northeast.

“There has been significant improvement in the security scenario in the entire northeast in the past few years. The overall insurgency level is at an all-time low,” he said.

Stating that Mizoram, Tripura, a large part of Assam and Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh were “almost free of insurgency”, he said there was a strong desire for peace in Nagaland and Manipur too.

Rajnath Singh said that at present, the deployment of forces was even more than when insurgency was at its peak.

“We must plan to reduce the security deployment so as to make the environment easy to encourage positive thinking among outsiders about the region. I would like to urge all the chief ministers to have a realistic audit of deployment of the Central Armed Police Forces,” he said.

While there was curfew in Manipur, author Binalakshmi Nepram tweeted pictures of agitation between security forces and protestors.

Rajnath Singh expressed concern over the recent activities along the India-Myanmar border, saying there were reports of insurgents, weapons and drugs crossing the international border.

“I have constituted a committee headed by Joint Intelligence Committee chairman R.N. Ravi to review how to effectively manage the India-Myanmar border. The committee has reviewed the matter and is expected to submit its report soon,” he said.

The home minister said there was a need to tighten vigil along the Bangladesh border too.

Rajnath Singh also took up the issue of people living near the international border.

“We should not ignore the people on the border. There are some 240 villages along the India-Mynamar border and over two lakh people within 10 km of the India-Myanmar border. This large population is without any worthwhile security cover and they are at the mercy of insurgents. A similar situation prevails along the India-Bhutan border,” he said, appealing to the chief ministers to pay attention to this crucial area.

“You may consider opening and strengthening of police stations in the border areas,” he said.

Rajnath Singh also appealed to the chief ministers to provide land for border fencing.

On the issue of withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) from the region, the home minister said it would be withdrawn wherever the situation improves.

(IANS)

Next Story

Apple Working on Technology to Secure iPhone Users’ Privacy

The FBI finally gained access to the encrypted iPhone of one of the terrorists without Apple's help

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The Apple logo is shown outside the company's Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco, California. VOA

Apple is working on an anti-snooping technology that will prevent law enforcement agencies from tracking mobile phone users’ locations or read their messages.

According to a report in The Telegraph on Sunday, the iPhone maker has patented the technology that encrypts information between an iPhone and a mobile network.

“The technology would hinder so-called ‘Stingray’ boxes, which mimic phone masts and can be used to track phone users’ locations and listen in on phone calls,” said the report.

Stingrays can be exploited by hackers, too, to access mobile users’ data.

The Apple technology would put end-to-end encryption to a phone’s unique ID, thus inhibiting the use of “Stingray” boxes used to track users’ locations.

Apple, Campus, China
A customer is entering the Apple store in Fairfax, Virginia. VOA

Also known as “IMSI” catchers, “Stingrays” are used by some police forces in Britain but the extent of their use has not been revealed.

Apple is fighting global pressure to make it easier for law enforcement agencies to access data from an encrypted iPhone.

Australia and Britain have passed laws in this direction while India is also considering a law that would give authorities access to some data.

Also Read- Ukrainian Hackers Used Online Quizzes to Leak Over 60K Facebook Users’ Data: Report

Apple refused the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) demand to unlock an iPhone owned by the shooter who killed 14 people at the Inland Regional Centre in San Bernardino, California in December 2015.

The FBI finally gained access to the encrypted iPhone of one of the terrorists without Apple’s help. (IANS)